Sarhul Aajivika Farmer Producer Company Limited (SAFPCL) is a women’s Farmer Producer Company established in 2019 in Ranchi, Jharkhand. SAFPCL is working in four different blocks namely Bedo, Chanho, Mander and Kanke of Ranchi District, Jharkhand. These regions are known for rich varieties of fruits and vegetables like Watermelon, Guava etc. The FPC is promoted by Jharkhand Opportunities for Harnessing Rural Growth (JOHAR), a project of Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS), a society under RDD, Govt of Jharkhand. SAFPCL comprises more than 1,500 women farmers, 10 Board of Directors and has 13 staff employees (inclusive of 10 JOHAR project staff).
The last two years of SAFPCL i.e., FY 20-21 and FY 21-22 have been the worst. The business was affected by the COVID lockdown period that resulted in local market closure and loss of business. Hence, it decided to reach out to other markets for sale of produce. However, the restriction of interstate movement of vehicles induced the FPC to face transportation challenges for the transport of vegetables and other products to other states. Another challenge observed was the restriction on the movement of staff which barricaded the communication to local farmers concerning the assessment of product availability, pricing information and logistics coordination.
These challenges faced by SAFPCL were quite similar to other FPCs in the region. The biggest challenge observed in SAFPCL was the coordination problem among the Board of Directors of the FPC, the field staff and the producer groups (PGs). There have been discrepancies observed in business decision-making by BoDs of SAFPCL. There were no consensus on the right harvest and seeking a competitive price for all the farmers. Moreover, due to a lack of established systems and processes, the FPC was not able to make the right assumption for the produce available with PGs.
No discussions took place among the board concerning the post-COVID market strategy for the sale of the harvest of the PGs. Establishing a proper network mechanism among BoDs of SAFPCL and the PGs became the bottleneck for the prosperity desired for the farmers.
It was a challenge for Ananya to devise a strategy for initiating discussions during the pandemic. The limited mobility and interaction on the field induced us to develop a localized approach towards the training needs of the FPC. Hence, Ananya’s team adopted a mixed approach to gathering field intelligence on the discrepancy and devised a mixed online and offline training programme for the BoDs of SAFPCL. Moreover, the team also devised a monitoring and mentoring mechanism to aid FPC’s efforts post-training.
Discover the DTI method of Ananya developed and implemented to solve the challenge at Sarhul FPC here: Case Study
ABOUT JOHAR PROJECT
JOHAR (Jharkhand Opportunities for Harnessing Rural Growth) is a project implemented in 68 blocks across 17 districts of Jharkhand, India. The development objective of the project is to enhance and diversify household income in select farm and non‐farm sectors for targeted beneficiaries in rural areas. Ananya is engaged as one of the Technical Support Agencies for enhancing creditworthiness of the Producer Groups (PGs) and Producer Companies (PCs) by way of imparting trainings, streamlining book keeping, helping adherence to regulatory compliance & supporting financial reporting & analysis.
The case study is authored by Avi Jain, Nagendra Rajawat and Neeraj Kumar.